Relationships

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I just finished reading Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck and it is hard for me to relax. It is an amazing book that I think everybody should read. The sooner the better.

This quote from it blew my mind in ways that relate to this blog:

In his study of gifted people, Benjamin Bloom included concert pianists, sculptors, Olympic swimmers, tennis players, mathematicians, and research neurologists. But not people who were gifted in interpersonal relationships. He planned to … But no matter how hard Bloom tried, he couldn’t find any agreed-upon way of measuring social ability… as a society, we don’t understand relationship skills. Yet everything is at stake in people’s relationships.

Relationships are hard. And because people are cognitive misers that are wired to avoid hard work and solve complex problems we gravitate towards the things we can easily understand, measure and gather information about. Money, numbers, performance. But relationships – they are elusive, hard to understand and quantify. But the fact that we can’t measure something does not mean it is not worth time, effort and attention.

Some people think that we can manage without relationships. “Everybody just needs to come in and do their job. If not, they will lose their job. We can manage without relationships”. Can we? Really? I don’t think so. As one of my professors is fond of saying: “You don’t manage people. You manage relationships”.

I don’t claim to have all the answers to the issue of relationships. I do agree with Dweck that they are a fundamental part of our lives and our business. And I think we should devote more an effort to understand and improve them. If reading Mindset has taught me anything, is that you can improve and learn if you try hard enough.

Elad

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